9-TIME PBR WORLD FINALS QUALIFIER TONY MENDES TO MAKE COMEBACK IN HONOR OF HUNTER NORMAN AT MEMORIAL EVENT
9-time PBR World Finals qualifier Tony Mendes will make his return to bull riding to honor the memory and spirit of fellow cowboy Hunter Norman when he competes at the 1st Annual Hunter Norman Memorial Bulls & Ranch Broncs event this month. The event pays tribute and honors respected Western Slope ranch bronc rider, Hunter Norman who passed away unexpectedly in May. The memorial event takes place on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 at 7pm at the Mesa County Fairgrounds in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Based in Fruita, Colorado, 40-year old Tony Mendes has an impressive bull riding career spanning 38 years. The 1996 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Rookie of the Year, Mendes won the North American Rodeo Commission in 1995 and has qualified twice for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Mendes has not been riding bulls competitively in the last two years due to a shoulder injury. When Mendes learned of the memorial event that friends and family are organizing to celebrate the life of his friend, he knew this was something he needed to be a part of to honor the ranch bronc rider.
“I decided to make a comeback at this memorial event to represent what Hunter represented. Hunter was someone who was all about heart and the try,” said Mendes of his friendship with the fallen cowboy. “He always came around and showed up with a new kid who was ready to learn how to ride. He always wanted to help and kept doing whatever he could to make the sport grow. It was this spirit about being alive that made Hunter a true cowboy. He had heart and was all about the trying – and so for Hunter, I’m going to try.”
Organizers of the memorial include family and long-time friends of the Fruita Monument High School Class of 2016 graduate Hunter Norman. This annual memorial helps the community celebrate the young cowboy’s life through his love and passion for ranch bronc riding and by putting on the best bronc and bull riding event that has come to the area. Event organizer and two-time Colorado Bullfighter of the Year (2007, 2013), Tyler Williams and his wife, Crystal have been engrained in the Western Slope community their whole lives and aim to put on an unforgettable annual event this year and for many years to come.
For those interested in the 1st Annual Hunter Norman Memorial Bulls & Ranch Broncs, details are as follows:
- $3000+ added guarantee for Ranch Broncs (limited to 30 riders)
- $2500+ added guarantee for Bull Riding (limited to 25 riders)
- Top 10 to Short-Go
- Payouts for 1st, 2nd & 3rd places (plus other awards)
- Buckles, spurs, jackets & a bronc halter awarded to high point rider in Ranch Broncs
- Ranch Broncs Entry Fee – $200; Bull Riding Entry Fee – $150
- ½ of entry fee must be paid before June 8th, 2018 (cashier’s check, money order or cash)
- Entry fees are non-refundable
Special thanks to buckle sponsors Diamond Peak Cattle Company and Twin Butte Ranch. Special thanks to stock contractors Ty Farris, Lonny Lancaster, Bryan Flynn and Wes Clegg of 7C Buckers. Special thanks to event sponsor Growing Spaces Greenhouses based in Pagosa Springs, Colorado and short round ranch broncs sponsor Joe and Beth Madaris from Trading Post Liquors in Grand Junction.
Ticket prices are $10 for adults (5 years old and over); $25 for family of four; $5 for Seniors (65 years and older) and all children under 5 years old are free. The Mesa County Fairgrounds is located at 2785 US-50, Grand Junction, CO 81503. For more details on Mesa County Fairgrounds, visit their website at www.mesacounty.us/fairgrounds/events/ or call 970-255-7107.
For entry fee registrations and other details, please contact Tyler and Crystal Williams at 970-589-2369. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Scott Norman at 970-471-5900. To donate to the event, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/hunter-norman-memorial-rodeo2018.